National Insect Week day 3 – bush crickets

Insects fall into two main ‘divisions’ when it comes to their development from egg to adult. In some insects such as butterflies, moths, beetles and flies, eggs hatch into larvae (sometimes called caterpillars or maggots) and these then metamorphose via a chrysalis (or pupae) in the adult animal.

Other insects such as grasshoppers and crickets develop gradually – when the egg hatches the individual looks like a mini version of the adult and then gradually grows shedding its exoskeleton via series of instars.

Speckled bush cricket
This is an early instar of a speckled bush-cricket photographed a couple of days ago in my garden – the body (excluding the antennae) was less than 5mm long

Speckled bush cricket 1
This is an adult (final instar) speckled bush-cricket photographed in the same place last summer. It is around 16mm in length excluding the antennae. Bush-crickets can go through up to nine instars before adulthood.

Speckled bush crickey 2
A close up shows why it is called the speckled bush-cricket.

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